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Eyes Turn To New Hampshire As House Votes On Marijuana Legalization Today

The General

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Supporters of marijuana legalization will rally at the State House in Concord today as the New Hampshire House is scheduled to vote on House Bill 492, a bill that would legalize and tax marijuana in the state. If passed, House Bill 492 would legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older and allow adults to grow up to six plants for personal use. The bill would allow for licensed and regulated marijuana retail stores, in addition to licensed facilities to cultivate, and manufacture marijuana. The bill would also impose a $30 per ounce tax on retail sales.

State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican supporting the bill, says the legislation is modeled after one approved by Colorado voters last year and is similar to one Washington voters passed. "Nothing in the bill would allow anyone to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other substance. By legalizing, regulating and taxing (marijuana), society would in effect be taking the profit away from illegal operations which truly harm society," he wrote fellow representatives in support of the bill. Vaillancourt said taxing marijuana would produce millions of dollars in tax revenue. He noted that the bill would not be effective until July 1 to provide time to implement it properly.

Opponents argue marijuana is bad for people's health and would be difficult to regulate. Criminal Justice and Public Safety Chairwoman Laura Pantelakos also noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. "If New Hampshire were to legalize and regulate marijuana, it would create an unclear picture of the state versus federal law enforcement, particularly since the (Department of Justice) has stated it will rely on states that legalize to strictly enforce and regulate marijuana," Pantelakos said in a report to the House. She said that could shift regulatory costs onto the state.

Lawmakers have considered but rejected decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in the past, most recently last session. But decriminalization supporters were encouraged when the state – with Gov. Maggie Hassan's limited backing – made it legal for the seriously ill to possess and use the drug earlier this year. Implementing the state's medical marijuana law is expected to take a year. If the bill passes the House, it faces a doubtful future. The Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter ounce of marijuana last year, and Gov. Hassan opposes decriminalization. A similar bill, HB 1705, fell one vote short of being approved by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in 2012.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Thedailychronic.net
Author: Thomas H. Clarke
Contact: The Voice of the Reform Generation | The Daily Chronic
Website: Eyes Turn to New Hampshire as House Votes on Marijuana Legalization Today
 

nhtoker

New Member
I have contacted my State reps. in support of this measure but I am not holding my breath on this. I may be out of touch but I don't think the granite state is ready for recreational marijuana. People I talk to have all kinds of horror story ideas of what would happen if we decriminalized MJ. They don't care about the rights of tens of thousands of their fellow residents that are now forced to break a draconian law. What we really need is to get the feds to decriminalize MJ. Then the flood gates would open for many states.
 

420 Motoco

Member of the Month: October 2014 - Member of the Year: 2014
The Feds will decriminalize MJ when all the States are on-board...then they will pass the buck as usual ...'We didn't do any thing to suppress the research on MJ' and we never really meant it had no medical value... !!
 

GoodOleDog

New Member
After Lengthy Floor Debate, New Hampshire General Assembly Approves Marijuana Legalization
After Lengthy Floor Debate, New Hampshire General Assembly Approves Marijuana LegalizationAfter a heated and lengthy debate on the floor of the New Hampshire General Assembly, the lower chamber of New Hampshire's legislature today voted 170 to 162 in favor of House Bill 492, which seeks to legalize under state law the personal use and home cultivation of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older and establish regulations for the retail production and sale of cannabis.

The historic vote makes the New Hampshire House the first state legislative chamber to ever vote in favor of regulating cannabis.

House Bill 492 had initially received a "Ought Not to Pass" report from the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. However, in New Hampshire legislative rules permit all House measures to receive floor votes by the full Assembly. This afternoon, House lawmakers debated the measure for more than three hours before voting 170 to 168 to accept the committee report. But this was just the beginning.

General Assembly members voted 173 to 165 to reconsider their actions and hold a revote. On their second vote, a majority 170 members voted to reject the "Ought Not to Pass" report. House lawmakers then voted to adopt amendments to adjust minor details of the bill. More debate ensued, but when the final vote was held 170 voted in favor of approving HB492 as amended and sending it to and 162 voted in opposition.

"This vote is historic," stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, "Today's vote approving House Bill 492 is the first time a chamber of a state legislature has ever approved of legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for all adults. Fifty-eight percent of Americans support ending our prohibition on marijuana and the New Hampshire General Assembly's actions today signal that politicians are finally beginning to acknowledge the will of their constituents."

Financial implications of the bill will next be debated by the House Ways and Means Committee. A second House floor vote is anticipated in the coming months. However, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has already stated her opposition to this measure and intention to veto it if it reaches her desk.

NORML will keep you updated on this evolving situation.

Sincerely,
The NORML Team
 

nhtoker

New Member
Well shut my mouth ! This has gone farther than I thought. I hope that if it passes ol Maggie will change her mind about the veto.
 
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